TeraPore Technologies Demonstrates Removal of SARS-CoV-2 from Water

Novel IsoBlockTM filters for high-resolution viral separations have potential to protect public from coronavirus exposure via water and wastewater pathways

San Francisco, CA – June 03, 2020 – TeraPore Technologies announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the ability of its IsoBlockTM virus-filter technology to remove >99.9% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from water. SARS-CoV-2 has been found to have high potential to remain infectious in wastewater and other water streams, according to existing scientific research.1,2

“While we don’t yet fully understand the potential risk, we do know that viruses can persist in aquatic environments. Water contaminated with SARS-Cov-2 or other emerging infectious viruses could have serious implications for public health,” said Rachel Dorin, CEO of TeraPore. “TeraPore’s expertise in membrane development for virus filtration in bioprocess and life sciences makes our team well-positioned to help water engineers and professionals address the risk of potential transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases via contaminated water sources.”

In April, TeraPore team members validated reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methods for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. They then evaluated TeraPore’s IsoBlock filters for the removal of the inactivated virus and demonstrated >99.9 percent removal of SARS-CoV-2 for two IsoBlock filter variants in May. After filtration, no residual virus was found in the permeate. The materials used for the virus removal are patent pending.

TeraPore’s self-assembling block copolymer technology allows for precise control of filter pore size, surface chemistry, and structure for high-resolution separations.  

Coronavirus & Water

SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emergent, virulent strain of virus responsible for the respiratory tract infection known as COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Thus far, the virus is estimated to have caused the death of more than 380,000 lives around the world, including more than 106,000 in the US3 as of June 2, 2020.

SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be transmitted via respiratory droplets and fecal-oral routes. Studies show coronaviruses can exist and remain infectious in water and sewage, with potential for human exposure if aerosols are generated.4,5 Viruses in water and sanitation systems can be efficiently removed by filtration mechanisms.

1Environ. Sci. Water Res. Technol., 2020, 6, 1213-16
2Water Res., 2009, 43(7), 1893-98
3Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) accessed 5/28.  https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
4L. S. Hung, The SARS epidemic in Hong Kong: what lessons have we learned?, J. R. Soc. Med., 2003, 96, 374–378
5L. Casanova, W. A. Rutala, D. J. Weber and M. D. Sobsey, Survival of surrogate coronaviruses in water, Water Res., 2009, 43, 1893–1898

IsoBlock Filters
TeraPore develops and manufactures filters with unprecedented performance through a proprietary and scalable block copolymer self-assembly technology. When fabricated into membranes, the polymers spontaneously form into highly uniform structures, creating precise holes (or pores) on the nanoscale. IsoBlock filters provide exceptional viral clearance with high filtration capacity for a wide range of applications. Each filter is integrity tested to ensure reliable performance.

About TeraPore
TeraPore Technologies develops high-permeability, high-resolution membrane nanofiltration systems for bioprocessing and other applications. Its mission is to solve the most challenging bioseparations problems. TeraPore is a venture-backed firm whose key investors include Anzu Partners, Artiman Ventures, RA Capital Management, and the law firm of Wilson Sonsini. TeraPore has also been the recipient of grant funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. For more information, visit www.terapore.com